by Max Brantley
Fort Smith native Audra Shay, whose candidacy to lead the national Young Republicans organization became controversial over the racist and homophobic tone of her and supporters' remarks on a variety of Internet sites, has won the election. This blogger says the vote was 472-415, though another made it 470-415. Shay now lives in New Orleans. Says here that a number abstained from voting rather than take sides in the controversy.
I wrote about the contest, among other places, here. Meghan McCain blogged against her candidacy. Shay distanced herself from a "coon" remark made by a supporter on her Facebook page that drew my attention, but then others mined more unpleasant remarks from her, including some anti-gay rhetoric. A Gawker post called her "crazy, illiterate, racist." Moderate Republican voices (there are some, believe it or not) thought her candidacy was the wrong direction for a rebuilding party. The Daily Beast had written that racist humor, politics and the Internet don't mix. Among Young Republicans -- Shay is 38, by the way -- they apparently still do. They'll be spinning "Barack the Magic Negro" at the Shay victory party, I guess. Sundown town rules apply?